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The Life and Career of Haruka Ueda Japanese Freestyle Swimmer

Updated on July 26, 2020
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Ara is a Journalism graduate from California State University Northridge who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

Who is Haruka Ueda?

Haruka Ueda, a Japanese freestyle swimmer, entered the world on April 27, 1988. A native of Tokyo, Japan, Haruka Ueda, now 29, started her swimming career at the young age of 17. That’s later than the majority of athletes. Haruka when she was still in high school got a 1st place finish in her school’s interscholastic athletic competition. She won the 200 meter and 400 meter freestyle events at that time. She has had many personal goals met. In 2005 during the World Championships, Haruka finished in 22nd place in the 200 meter freestyle. Two years later in the 2007 World Championships, Haruka got a 39th place finish in the 100 meter freestyle. The following year in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, Haruka got a 13th place finish. Haruka is one of the tallest Japanese athletes standing at 177 centimeters tall.

Haruka Ueda at the 2012 Japan Swim event


Haruka Ueda's Success in Japan and London

Haruka has also had much success in her home country. She finished with a time of 55.05 in the 100 meter freestyle during the long course swimming event in June 2008. A few months later on August 11, 2008, Haruka set a Japanese record by finishing with a time of 1:57.64. In the short course swimming events, Haruka established a Japanese swimming record in the 100 meter freestyle in February of 2009. She received a finish at 53.41. And finally, in the 200 meter freestyle, Haruka Ueda set an all-time Asian and Japanese record by finishing with a time of 1:53.72 in February of 2009. In 2010 at the Aoti Aquatics Center in Guangzhou, China, Haruka earned the bronze medal for her efforts at the Women’s 100 meter freestyle final. As of this writing, Haruka is a graduate of Nihon University and she belongs to the Tokyo Swimming Center. More recently, Haruka got a major victory at the Japan Swim 2012 event in the Women’s 100 meter freestyle. This was a Japanese record that she established. The event took place at the Tatsumi International Swimming Pool. A month later in May 2012, Haruka won the 100 meter freestyle event at the Japan Open. These successes allowed Haruka to be chosen for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. With the Japanese National Swim team, she won the bronze medal in the women’s 4 X 100 meter medley relay.

Haruka Ueda becomes a bronze medalist in London and Wins the 50 meter Freestyle in Japan

Swimmer Haruka Ueda celebrates as she reaches the end of the race during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England and wins a bronze medal.
Swimmer Haruka Ueda celebrates as she reaches the end of the race during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, England and wins a bronze medal. | Source
Haruka Ueda celebrates after she wins the Women's 50 meter freestyle event at the Japan Swim 2012 in Tokyo in April 2012.
Haruka Ueda celebrates after she wins the Women's 50 meter freestyle event at the Japan Swim 2012 in Tokyo in April 2012. | Source

Haruka Ueda's appearance in a swim magazine and retirement

Haruka studied economics and graduated in 2011. Japanese swimmers Reiko Nakamura and Kosuke Kitajima also trained at the same swimming facility as Haruka has done. In September 2010, Haruka appeared on the front cover of a Japanese swimming magazine known as “SWIM.” At her young age, who knows how far she can go but her level of success has been outstanding in spite of her late start in swimming. Note: Ueda announced in 2013 that she would be retiring from the sport of swimming. Her stated intention was to work for Kikkoman as a full-time employee. This is the same organization that had sponsored her during her career.

© 2016 Ara Vahanian


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